Gauging differential health among the sexes at Windover (8Br246) using the Western Hemisphere Health Index|
Rachel K Wentz; Bryan Tucker; John Krigbaum & Glen H Doran
Assessment of intrapopulation human health provides information concerning social structure, division of labor, and lifestyle. Differential health among the sexes can provide clues to social roles, resource acquisition and status within prehistoric populations. Windover (8Br246) is an Archaic mortuary pond located in eastern central Florida. Its occupation spans over 500 years and dates to 7000 years BP. Over 168 well-preserved individuals were excavated, providing a glimpse into life during Florida's Archaic. Through the application of the Western Hemisphere Health Index, we find that males within the group experienced better overall health than females. Males outscore females in quality of life, percent of maximum scores, stature, anemia, dental disease, and infection. Females out-score males in enamel hypoplasia and degenerative joint disease. Causative factors for observed differential health are examined and include activity levels, sexual division of labor, access to resources, and the physiological demands of childbearing.
paleoepidemiology - archaic - health index - disease sex ratio - stress indicators - prehistory